Monday, February 20, 2012

We shouldn't need "Gaming Laws"

Wii, Playstation3, and Xbox Gaming Systems

South Korea has introduced another "Gaming Law" proposal due to their citizens addiction to video games, internet, and technology.  In this law gaming consoles would turn off after 2 hours of play in a 24 hour period, and the user would have to take a 10 minute break before being able to turn the game back on.  Also you can only turn it back on once in 24 hours.  Another part of this is that game consoles would have a chip in them rendering them expensive paper weights between the hours of midnight and 6am.  The black out hours are geared at the 16 and under crowd, but would be in effect for all citizens.  Some United States lawmakers have wanted to get a similar measure passed to help with Americans' addiction to technology.

Gaming laws shouldn't even need to be a thought in our lawmakers minds.  If a parent wants to let their kid play a video game on their gaming system, computer, or even cell phone then that is their right living in a free country.  I would hope that they have more important things to do, than worry about how much time the Wii in my house is on, or how much time my family spends total on the internet.  Knowing how our current government works, I'm sure that they won't spend time on important things and will eventually introduce a Gaming Law though disguised as a lame attempt at ending childhood obesity.

With childhood obesity rates the highest they have ever been, parents do need to encourage their children to get more active and eat better.  But placing chips in a gaming consoles to make them shut off when the government determines that they should is not going to help the situation any.  Kids will just find another sedentary activity to do instead of playing video games.  Some communities playing outside is dangerous and cannot be done.  Other areas the changes in weather make it impossible for children to be outside for an extended period of time during cold months or when the weather forces kids indoors.  On those days they are going to play more video games.  Also there is a point where you stop wanting to play and start wanting to be an adult, no matter what you do you aren't going to be able to get your children outside to play once they have hit this stage.

Americans do have a technology addiction.  I know that I feel naked without my smart phone, and would be lost if I had to go back to a normal phone.  I'm not alone in this feeling either.  Most websites have a mobile view option so we are not having to wait till we are on a computer to log on to the internet, and you can access them from wifi hotspots located in just about every business you visit.  New apps link your smart phone to your laptop to your Kindle so you can access anything and everything at any time you wish.

There are midnight release parties for new games, where gamers stand in line for hours outside a store waiting for the newest version to finally be released.  These games we have been hearing about for months as they are finished being debugged with previews of them online and on tv driving the hype before they are released even higher.  As soon as a gamer has the game in their hand they are going to want to spend hours playing it till they have it beat, bragging to all of their friends how many hours it took them to beat it.

When our children are still at home we can curb this addiction somewhat, unless you have a husband who is a gamer and then you might be looking at a lost cause.  We can set up time limits on games, make them turn off their phones that we are paying for, even censor what tv channels they have access too.  Should we set up all of these limits though?

We all know that at some point in time our children will leave our house.  They will be on their own, and all we can do is hope that we have taught them the correct things as they grew. As they spread their wings they are no longer subject to our technology limitations and must regulate themselves.  Maybe by allowing them more access when they are younger, while explaining them why technology should be limited, the generation that we are raising hopefully won't be as addicted as the one before them.  The only problem is actually practicing what we preach, and putting away our smart phones, laptops, and instead read a book.  Although that would probably be read on our Kindle so I haven't gotten all of the details on how this is going to work figured out yet.

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